After more than 70 years of unswerving service to the nation, the Queen has let it be known that she will not be placing a wreath at the Cenotaph during the Remembrance Day ceremony next month. After all, she is now 91, and the Duke of Edinburgh, who has formally retired from Royal duties, is 96. They will watch the ceremony from a balcony at the Foreign Office; Prince Charles, as heir apparent, will stand in for her.
What a happy chappie
This is no more than would be expected as one generation of Royals prepares the way for the next to assume their duties, an organised transition that “The Firm” has been unable to enjoy in the recent past. The Queen was very much pitched in to the Royal fray in 1952; her father had not even expected to be King in the first place.
For much of the press, that has been understood, but at the Baby Shard bunker, there seems to be something in the water impairing the faculties of at least one of the Murdoch goons: step forward the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn, who has decided that Her Maj is not at liberty to stand aside from the ceremony. “I’m a loyal subject, but sorry Your Majesty, as long as you can still walk or crawl, honouring our war dead is not a task you ‘delegate’” he frothed. The reaction was as swift as it was adverse.
Emily Ashton of BuzzFeed UK tried to tell him as gently as possible. “Tom she's still a human being”. This did not deter The Great Man, who became significantly more righteous in response: “So were the 800k British soldiers killed in WW1!” Well, as Newton Dunn claims to be a football fan, even if he is an Arsenal supporter, he’d know full well what Cloughie could have said to that: “He’s a clown, young man”.
Newton Dunn was immediately subjected to significant amounts of adverse comment from his fellow Twitter users. “She's 91 years old” pointed out one, while another told him “Not sure if you're testing the water but you've got this one wrong”. And it was not merely Royalists who were dismayed at the Sun man’s inability to grasp the real world: “Even as a Republican I find that an incredibly distasteful comment”.
There was more hostile reaction. Rather a lot more, from the more thoughtful, with one Tweeter musing “If the Queen wishes to watch the solemn ceremony with her husband as the heir to the throne lays a wreath on her behalf, it’s fine by me” to the forthright and blunt “You work at The Sun for fuck sake. Hardly a strong position for you to take the moral high ground. Pillock”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.
Those Tweeters weren’t finished yet. One clearly annoyed respondent left the Caps Lock on to tell Newton Dunn loudly and clearly “AGAIN - SHE WILL BE THERE, ON THE BALCONY, PRAYING & GIVING THE THANKS FOR THEIR SACRIFICE. FFS TOM, LEAVE IT!” while Ross McCafferty reminded him of the Queen’s age once again: “She's a 91 year old woman. You want to see her dragged by the Hair?”
Tom Newton Dunn has now understood the error of his ways and deleted the offending Tweets. But Twitter does not forget so easily. So another example of inadequate journalism from the Murdoch goons is preserved for posterity. Remember - Don’t Buy The Sun.